Interoperability Lessons For Right Now

Interoperability lessons help response times during a pandemic
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Remember when your new phone had a unique charger that wouldn’t work with other phones, and leaving it behind caused a major nightmare? Sanity prevailed, and except for Apple, the whole world now uses USB to plug virtually everything in. Our WWW and Internet came about because of a few standards that took hold internationally and took root before different groups could craft their own conflicting way of doing things.

There is a lesson here for the pandemic and especially for the recovery efforts that are going to take place – a uniform way, wherever possible, will allow for a much more rapid path back to whatever new normal emerges.

There are only 50 states, so why worry? Because according to Wikipedia, as of 2016, there were 3,007 counties, 64 parishes, 19 organized boroughs, 10 census areas, 41 independent cities, and the District of Columbia for a total of 3,142 counties and county-equivalents in the 50 states and District of Columbia. And there is the rest of the world beyond our shores.

Imagine everyone going their own way on the 1,000 different issues we’re going to confront soon (when rational decisions are made to restart) – opening schools, testing food workers, getting on an international flight, going to your own sport’s 50,000 plus stadium for a game (that seems so 6 months ago!).

How do you get beyond this problem? Information sharing, planning and coordination can go a long way. Communications need to gross all the FSLTIPP boundaries (a long forgetting post 9/11 acronym – Federal, State, Local, Tribal, International, public, and private).

Get started now on the recovery and post-recovery and we’ll reap some huge gains. Saving one month of the world economy translates to at least a bundle of billions.

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